While the fall 2017 bridal week runways featured a profusion of the usual suspects — exposed (and bedazzled) backs, dramatic trains and capes and lots of lace — a few pleasant surprises did emerge on the trends front.
The styles skewed racy last season (with varying levels of jaw-dropping illusion exposure, mega-cleavage, back-plunge and leg slits), but the looks for the next pivoted to increased coverage in the form of long sleeves and high necklines. And, while elaborate embellishments and opulent metallic details made a strong showing on the runway, minimalism and classic shapes presented a convincing counterpoint.
Fall 2017 bridal week also brought some reasons to celebrate. The revered old guard commemorated milestone anniversaries — Lela Rose's 10th, Reem Acra's (almost) 20th and Monique Lhuillier's big 2-0 — while newcomers, like Paris-based Rime Arodaky, L.A. cool girl Stephanie White's Odylyne the Ceremony and Viktor & Rolf's first-ever bridal line, debuted in New York with fresh and inventive takes on the traditional.
In short, a lot happened, so we broke it all down into the top 11 trends for the fall 2017 bridal season.
RUFFLE TIMES AHEAD
From frothy, tulle layers to fondant swirls to soft, delicate hems, ruffles ruled the runways in various quantities, sizes and aesthetics — from country club princess to surfer girl to avant-garde fashion nerd. (That Viktor & Rolf asymmetrical ruffle gown could pull double duty as a museum piece.)
Floral details are a wedding dress staple, but designers took flowers to a new level for fall 2017 with the most exquisite, so-pretty-you'll-want-to-cry 3D embellishments.
Rich metallics glimmered on the bridal runways in various formats: gilded embroidery, mirrored silver beading and sequins, blindingly sparkly (and anything-but-tacky) crystal embellishments and full-on gold brocade.
RETURN TO MINIMALISM
Just because a dress doesn't have sequins, sparkly beading or Coachella-ish lace (or all of the above), doesn't mean it has to be plain or austere. This season's straightforward and unadorned silhouettes offer subtle but interesting details, like Sachin & Babi's mini-flounce sleeve and Savannah Miller's delicate bodice ruching. (Of course, you could cheat with the minimalist in front and full-illusion-body-panel party in the back look at Pronovias.)
GRACE KELLY VIBES
Red carpet and bridal designer Romona Keveza based her entire "Legends" fall 2017 collection on Old Hollywood and European royal icon Grace Kelly. But it turns out the mainline Philadelphia socialite turned Oscar winning actress turned Princess of Monaco (or more her timeless and elegant style) made an appearance on more than one bridal runway. Meaning, you can have your princess moment, too.
In response to last season's belly-button-level deep plunge, bridal necklines reached near Victorian standards this season. Although, designers did find loopholes in the form of low-plunge backs, exposed décolletage cutouts and risqué illusion paneling.
LONG (SEXY) SLEEVES
Long sleeves made a return to the bridal runways, but in ways that might make Kate Middleton blush a bit. With peekaboo lace and shimmery illusion details, the new long sleeves are anything but uptight.
The little white minidress has its moments, but this season designers are making a strong case for the tea or midi-length. The knee-covering, ankle-baring looks are traditional enough for a formal ceremony, but also playfully perfect as a reception (read: dance floor) option. Plus, why waste all the effort (and money) you spent on your shoes by obscuring them under a big ballgown?
PRETTY IN PINK
Fashion isn't the only category enamored with pink. Bridal designers infused the soft, pretty hue into their collections in a multitude of ways, from Marchesa's blush flutter-sleeve gown to Temperley's garden of embroidered flowers to Rita Vinieris's sassy rose beaded column.
Similar to the fashion week runways, the off-the-shoulder (and cutout shoulder) silhouette is not going anywhere. Better make sure you have the right bridal undergarments.
I don't understand why pants aren't more ubiquitous for weddings, honestly. In the form of pantsuits, matching sets or even jumpsuits, which can totally sub in for a gown, trousers just feel subversive enough while maintaining a classic silhouette. And they won't look dated or "what was I thinking?" crazy when you looking back on your wedding photos decades later.